Cell phones get blamed for increasing cancer risk, ruining dinner conversations, and now abnormal skull growth, according to a study. Published in the Journal of Anatomy in 2016, the research has recently been resurfaced in several news outlets.
X-rays revealed that 41 percent of people between 18 and 30-years-old had bony lumps that look like horns on the back of their skulls, say researchers at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. Blood tests and MRI scans ruled out genetic factors and inflammation, according to the study authors. These lumps are not horns, but rather enthesophytes, abnormal growths found at attachment points in the tendon or ligaments.
Typically, enthesophytes develop slowly over long periods of time, which is why researchers were surprised to find them in young people.
Although it’s not clear why younger people developed these growths, researchers believe it can be attributed to modern technology, like cell phones.
“We hypothesize that the sustained increase load at that muscle attachment is due to the weight of the head shifting forward with the use of modern technologies for long periods of time,” study co-author and musculoskeletal researcher David Shahar said in a statement. “Shifting the head forwards results in the transfer of the head’s weight from the bones of the spine to the muscles at the back of the neck and head.”
Basically, you want to maintain good posture while looking down at your iPad or cell phone.
Shahar recommends using specially contoured pillows or performing exercises that lift the upper chest as it will help recalibrate your posture. Or you could just wean yourself off that smartphone. Gradually decrease usage by leaving your cell in a desk drawer for several hours while working. And it’s always a good idea to ignore your when in the company of other people.
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